OAA provides update on court order regarding licensed technologists

As the OAA learned late last year and communicated to the members, the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario (AATO) advanced a court application to challenge the OAA’s authority to issue licences via policy, rather than statute.

In considering this challenge, the OAA’s governing Council agreed to respond to the challenge in a substantive manner and support the OAA Technology Program, which has been in operation for more than 20 years. Initially, it was stated that the Court was expected to hear the case in December 2023, but OAA Council agreed to pursue good-faith negotiations with the AATO in the goal of finding an equitable and fair resolution in the public interest. Unfortunately, these negotiations were unsuccessful.

On May 10, 2023, the OAA alerted those who were Licensed Technologists OAA about the outcome of the Court application. Notwithstanding the considerable effort to respond to this challenge, and given its technical nature—that is, a matter of statutory interpretation—an outcome from the scheduled hearing that would allow the OAA to continue to issue licences via policy was unlikely. Ultimately, the OAA would be unable to successfully respond to the challenge of how the licences are currently issued.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued an Order that took effect on May 10, with immediate impact on all 150 Licensed Technologist OAA licences and 44 Lic.Tech.OAA Certificates of Practice (CoPs):

  1. The OAA has no lawful authority to issue CoPs or licences based on the Licensed Technologist OAA policy (or any similar policy).
  2. The Lic.Tech.OAA CoPs and licences previously issued are void and of no force and effect.
  3. The OAA is prohibited from issuing Lic.Tech.OAA CoPs or licences based on the policy or any similar policy going forward.

Although the OAA consented to the Order, it is disappointed with the resulting disruption. The Association firmly believes in the value of the skills and abilities of all individuals who were Licensed Technologists OAA.

It is important to note there is no risk to the public inherent in these licences being voided—all individuals who held a Licensed Technologist OAA licence completed a rigorous program grounded in the conventional parameters of education, experience, and examination. Rather, what was solely at issue was the OAA’s use of a policy, rather than statutory authority, to grant CoPs and licences.

The OAA has updated the former Licensed Technologists OAA, as well as Intern Technologists and Student Technologists affected by the pausing of what was the OAA Technology Program. To learn more, visit the OAA Website.